Attack on UN base in Mali kills 8 peacekeepers

6 hours 26 minutes ago

Gunmen killed at least eight Chadian UN peacekeepers in an attack Sunday on one of their bases in northern Mali, a source close to the MINUSMA force said.

“According to a new toll, still provisional, at least eight peacekeepers have been killed,” the source said.

#UPDATE Gunmen killed at least eight Chadian UN peacekeepers in an attack on one of their bases in northern Mali, a source close to the MINUSMA force says— AFP news agency (@AFP) January 20, 2019

The attack happened early Sunday at the Aguelhok base 200 kilometres (125 miles) north of Kidal and towards the border with Algeria, the source added.

A Malian security source spoke of at least six killed and 19 wounded, while a diplomat in northern Mali told AFP that several of the attackers were also killed.

Al-Qaida-linked jihadists attack UN base in North Mali— NEWS102.3 KRMG ? ? ? (@KRMGtulsa) January 20, 2019

An attack at the same base last April killed two peacekeepers and left several others wounded.

More than 13,000 peacekeepers are deployed in Mali as part of a UN mission that was established after Islamist militias seized northern Mali in 2012. They were pushed backed by French troops in 2013.

A peace agreement signed in 2015 by the Bamako government and armed groups was aimed at restoring stability to Mali following a brief Islamist takeover in the north.

[RTE] Eight UN peacekeepers killed by gunmen in Mali | rtenews

— ??????? david jones (DavidJones_now) January 20, 2019

But the accord has failed to stop violence by Islamist militants, who have also staged attacks in Burkina Faso and Niger.

Earlier this month, both France and the United States criticised the authorities in Mali for their failure to stem the worsening violence.

#Mali: Unidentified gunmen attacked a local political delegation on Friday in Petein Bouli, #Gao.— Sylva Gabriel (@Gabisymen) January 20, 2019

#Mali: Don't be surprised if #JNIM claims the attack as a response to the historical visit of #Israel-i PM netanyahu who arrived this morning in N'Djamena, #Chad - ArutzSheva_En— MENASTREAM (@MENASTREAM) January 20, 2019



SADC congratulates Tshisekedi on election victory

6 hours 43 minutes ago

The Southern African Development Community on Sunday congratulated President-elect Felix Tshisekedi and Congo for conducting elections in a peaceful manner “despite the security and logistical challenges.”

The 16-nation regional bloc had last week called for a unity government and possible recount.

#SADC congratulates President-Elect of #DRCongo, Mr Felix Tshisekedi & calls upon all stakeholders to support the President-elect & his Government in maintaining unity, peace & stability; and in attaining socio-economic development in the country— SADC Secretariat (@SADC_News) January 20, 2019

The group “calls upon all Congolese to accept the outcome, and consolidate democracy and maintain a peaceful and stable environment following the landmark elections.” The body called on “all stakeholders to support the President-elect and his government in maintaining unity, peace and stability; and attaining socio-economic development in DRC (Congo). SADC looks forward to a peaceful transfer of power to the President-elect.”

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli also sent congratulations on Twitter.

“I congratulate HE. Felix Tshisekedi on his election as President of the DRC (Congo). While congratulating all the Congolese, I beseech you to maintain peace and affirm my commitment to furthering our historic and brotherly ties,” he wrote.

Following the judgement by the High Constitutional Court. I congratulate HE. Felix Tshisekedi on his election as President of the DRC. While congratulating all the Congolese, I beseech you to maintain peace and affirm my commitment to furthering our historic and brotherly ties.— Dr John Magufuli (@MagufuliJP) January 20, 2019

Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza congratulated Congo’s President elect Felix Tshisekedi and the Congolese people on the election result.

“Through a fully organized electoral process without outside influence and the wisdom of President Kabila, Congo has just defended its dignity and sovereignty. #Burundi congratulates the elected President, HE Felix A. Tshisekedi and the step taken by the Congolese people. “

Par un processus électoral entièrement organisé sans influence extérieure et la sagesse du Président Kabila, la #RDC vient de défendre sa dignité et sa souveraineté. Le #Burundi félicite le Président élu, SE Félix A. Tshisekedi ainsi que le pas franchi par le Peuple Congolais.— Pierre Nkurunziza (@pnkurunziza) January 20, 2019

Congo’s Constitutional court confirmed the victory of Felix Tshisekedi, dismissing the claims of massive vote fraud by runner-up Martin Fayulu.

Tshisekedi’s supporters celebrated the court decision, announced early Sunday, by driving their motorcycles and cars in a procession through Kinshasa. Later the capital city was quiet, with people attending church. Other cities across Congo were also reported to be quiet.

Ramaphosa & SADC quick to congratulate Tshisekedi as new president, effectively the AU heads of state mission that was due to arrive tomorrow #DRC #RDC #DRCongoElections2018— Philip Amaral (@AmaralPhilip) January 20, 2019

But Fayulu’s declaration that he is Congo’s “only legitimate president” and call for the Congolese people to peacefully protest what he called a “constitutional coup d’etat” threatened to keep the country in a political crisis that has been simmering since the Dec. 30 elections.

Tshisekedi welcomed the court’s decision confirming him as the winner of the presidential election saying it was a victory for the entire country.

I now consider myself as the sole legitimate President-elect of the #DRC. Therefore, I ask the Congolese people not to recognize any individual who would claim this authority illegally nor to obey orders that would emanate from such a person. #RDCVote #DRCElections— Martin Fayulu (@MartinFayulu) January 20, 2019

Thread #DRC These are very strong words from #Fayulu. A direct challenge to #Tshisekedi and by extension #Kabila who still controls all significant levers of power— Fergal Keane (@fergalkeane47) January 20, 2019



ClandesTime 167 – Phil Strub’s Greatest Hits

8 hours 34 minutes ago
I recently found out that Strub retired from his job as the DOD’s Hollywood liaison last July, though this wasn’t covered by any news outlets and the DOD didn’t bother to tell anyone. In this episode I go through some of Strub’s greatest hits – the good, the bad and the ugly, looking at script changes enforced by his office and reflecting on the consequences of his three decades as the military’s chief propagandist.

(Read more...)


Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu visits Chad

9 hours 26 minutes ago

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Chad on Sunday for a visit he described as a “historic breakthrough” in this African country with a Muslim majority with which Israel is preparing to resume relations.

Netanyahu: Iran tried to stop my trip to Chad but failed— The Jerusalem Post (@Jerusalem_Post) January 20, 2019

Just after his arrival at N’Djamena airport, Mr. Netanyahu went directly to the presidential palace to meet with Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno. A press conference of the two leaders is scheduled for midday.

Before leaving Israel, the head of government said that the visit “to a very large Muslim country with borders with Libya and Sudan marks a historic breakthrough,” his office said in a statement.

“This visit is part of the revolution we are leading in the Arab and Muslim world that I promised to accomplish,” the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now meeting privately with Chad President Idriss Deby, in the Ndjamena, the capital of Chad. ????— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) January 20, 2019

He also indicated that his visit to Chad would bring “great news”, apparently referring to a possible resumption of diplomatic relations that Chad had broken in 1972.

“All this irritates and even provokes the anger of Iran and the Palestinians who are trying to prevent it (rapprochement with Arab or Muslim countries), but they will not succeed,” Netanyahu also said.

This visit, which is scheduled to last only one day, follows President Déby’s visit to Israel in November.

Mr. Netanyahu then announced his intention to announce the restoration of diplomatic relations between Israel and Chad, a country of about 15 million people, during a forthcoming trip to N’Djamena.

Mr. Netanyahu is actively engaged in a campaign to establish or renew ties, including in Africa, with countries that refuse to recognize Israel or have distanced themselves because of the conflict with the Palestinians.

In November, Benjamin Netanyahu and Idriss Déby refused to say whether their discussions included arms agreements.

.IsraeliPM landed in N'Djamena on a historic visit to #Chad?? and has met with Chadian Foreign Minister Mahamat Zene.

PM Netanyahu is now meeting with Chad's President Idriss Déby at the Presidential Palace.

(?Kobi Gideon/GPO)

— Israel Foreign Min. (IsraelMFA) January 20, 2019

In response to rebellions in the north and east of the country, the Chadian army and the National Intelligence Agency have acquired Israeli military equipment, although Chadian security sources had informed AFP.

Chad is one of the African states engaged in the fight against the jihadist organizations Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa. In November, it received military vehicles and ships worth $1.3 million (approximately €1.15 million) from the United States, Israel’s major ally.

Netanyahu meets Idriss Deby the presidential palace

— Noa Landau נעה לנדאו (noa_landau) January 20, 2019

The pressure of African Muslim nations, accentuated by the Arab-Israeli wars of 1967 and 1973, led a number of African states to break with the Jewish state.

But in recent years, Israel has offered opportunities for cooperation in areas ranging from security to technology and agriculture to develop its relations on the African continent.

Israeli PM netanyahu just landed in N'Djamena, #Chad. He was received by the country's foreign minister and a very modest welcoming ceremony

— Raphael Ahren (RaphaelAhren) January 20, 2019



Libyan photographer killed in Tripoli clashes

10 hours ago

A freelance photographer who had contributed to the Associated Press among other news organizations was killed in clashes between rival militias in the Libyan capital Tripoli, a government official and relatives said.

#Libya-n journalists continue to pay the ultimate price for merely doing the necessary work of journalism. Mohamed Ben Khalifa, a photographer and video journalist, was killed yesterday in #Tripoli’s Qasr bin Ghashir after being hit by shrapnel.— The Libya Times (@thelibyatimes) January 20, 2019

Ben Khalifa was killed on Saturday near Libya’s capital, Tripoli, which has seen a flare-up of violence between rival militias since Wednesday. AFP reported, citing security sources, that the photographer came under shelling which targeted the positions of the group he was embedded with.

Ben Khalifa is survived by his wife and five-month-old baby daughter.

Condolences have been pouring in to the family of the 35-year-old from the journalist community in Libya, where he was known as one of the leading photographers, and beyond.

Colleagues are mourning Ruptly content producer Mohamed Ben Khalifa, killed in recent clashes in #Libya— RT (RT_com) January 19, 2019

During his three years with Ruptly, Ben Khalifa produced 30 stories, covering clashes from the frontlines of the Libyan unrest as well as the plight of migrants venturing on the perilous journey to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe and escape turmoil at home.

Ben Khalifa is the 14th journalist or media worker killed since the onset of the Libyan unrest and subsequent Western intervention in 2011. Most of them were killed in crossfire, according to data from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

This week’s spate of violence has already claimed the lives of 13 people, injuring a further 52, according to the latest figures from the Libyan Health Ministry. Women and children were among the victims.

New post: Popular Associate Press photographer, Mohamed Ben Khalifa killed while covering militia clashes in Libya by Max Technology – — (@PlayVilla_) January 20, 2019

The tense situation around the Libyan capital spiraled into outright violence on Wednesday morning, when militias from the Seventh Brigade from the eastern town of Tarhouna launched an assault on forces loyal to the government south of Tripoli. Witnesses reported loud sounds of gunfire and blasts that swept through the area, forcing many of the residents to flee.

The escalation has dealt a blow to the shaky truce brokered by the UN in September. Skirmishes that broke out after the Seventh Brigade closed in on the city in August left 117 people dead and more than 500 injured.

Mohamed Ben Khalifa, a freelance photographer who works for the AP, was killed by a random shelling in clashes between rival militias in #Libya’s ?? capital #TripoliRIP young man— SaadAbedine (SaadAbedine) January 19, 2019

Libya continues to be torn between various militant factions since the toppling and murder of Muammar Gaddafi in civil unrest fueled by a NATO-led military intervention. The fighting left Libya in shambles, sparking mass migration into Europe and allowing human traffickers to flourish in the war-ravaged country.

The UN-backed Government of National Accord in the country’s west struggles to assert control, even over allied militias in Tripoli, while the east of the country is controlled by the Libyan National Army (LNA) under strongman Khalifa Haftar. Recently, forces loyal to the general moved to reclaim oil and gas production sites from the extremists in the south of the country, expanding their influence.

Really tragic news out of #Libya. Freelance Journalist Mohamed Ben Khalifa who worked for AP amongst others was killed during clashes in Libyan capital #Tripoli! ?— Bathoul Ahmed (@BathoulAhmed) January 20, 2019

AP Photographer Ben Khalifa killed in Libya clashes.— EPUK News (@EPUK_News) January 19, 2019



Zimbabwe: Funeral held for slain protester

10 hours 27 minutes ago

In Zimbabwe, mourners gathered at the home of deceased 22 year old Kelvin Tinashe Choto during his funeral in Chitungwiza about 30 kilometres south east of the capital, Harare.

A gifted footballer set to go for trials in South Africa, the young man was shot in the head by soldiers outside his home on Monday following protests against fuel price hikes.

MDC President Nelson Chamisa attended the funeral service before Choto’s burial at Zororo cemetery on Saturday.

Dozens of Zimbabweans have been shot . Others claim they have been hunted down in their homes at night, with soldiers and masked people in plainclothes dragging them away, severely beating them and leaving them for dead.


52 Somali Islamists killed during air strikes- U.S army

10 hours 36 minutes ago

The United States military said Saturday it has killed 52 Somali Islamists during air strikes in response to an attack by a large group of Somali Shebabs against Somali national forces in the south of the country.

Earlier in the day, at least 8 Somali soldiers were killed by Shebab fighters in an attack on their camp on the outskirts of Kismayo, a southern port city, military and local chiefs said.

“We managed to kill at least 75 Shebab militants after they attacked us and many others were wounded, and we want to talk about this victory to our people. We, the Somali army with our international partners will pursue the Shebab militants until victory”, said Somali army officer, Hassan Aden Mohamed.

The heavily armed Islamist fighters had launched their attack at dawn followed by an exchange of fire that last several hours, AFP said.

The Shebabs have claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming to have killed 42 Somali soldiers.

The U.S military has intensified its air strikes against Islamist fighters since 2017.

Hunt out of Mogadishu in 2011, Shebabs then lost most of their strongholds. But they still control large rural areas from which they carry out guerrilla operations and suicide bombings against government, security forces or civilians.



Zimbawean security forces express 'grave concern' over increasing acts of violence

11 hours 45 minutes ago

Zimbabwean security forces have expressed grave concern over the increasing acts of violence in the country, following protests by civilians over hikes in fuel prices.

“The Zimbabwe Defence Forces and Security Services have noted with deep concern an increase in the number of people committing crimes, particularly robberies while wearing military or police uniforms’‘, said police spokesperson, Charity Charamba.

There are reports of numerous beatings and arbitrary arrests of protesters by law enforcement officials. Spokesman for the country’s army, Overson Mugwisi assured of adequate safety for the public.

“Security services want to reiterate the government’s assurance that adequate security measures have been put in place to ensure that members of the public and businesses conduct their activities without hindrance’‘, Mugwisi said.

On Monday January 14, anger erupted in Zimbabwe after President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced astronomical increase in fuel prices. Police said three people were killed during the demonstrations.

The UN has denounced an “excessive use of force” and called for the release of those detained for exercising their right to freedom of assembly.


34 minutes 47 seconds ago
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